I think all of us want God to revive our churches. But instead of crying out to him, "O Lord, revive thy work," we're prone to grumble instead. We're prone to grumble about different parts of the church. We're prone to grumble about different people in the church. We find ourselves saying, "If only we had a different worship style ... if only we had a different structure, if only we had another minister." We want whatever is fresh, whatever is working elsewhere, whatever sounds culturally relevant, as long as it's new and different.
This longing for "the new" is an old problem. Charles Spurgeon once said,
You do not want fresh ways or fresh machinery; you want the life in what you have. There is an engine on a railway; a train has to be moved. "Bring another engine," says one, "and another, and another." The engines are brought, but the train does not move at all. Light the fire, and get the steam up, that is what you want; not fresh engines.
We do not want fresh ministers, or fresh plans, or fresh ways, though many might be invented, to make the church better; we only want life in what we have got. Do not be crying out for something new; it will no more succeed, of itself, than what you have. Cry, "O Lord, revive thy work!"
These words by Spurgeon remind me of my personal need of revival before I concern myself with the church's need for it. And they also remind me that instead of crying out for something new, I need to cry out to God to light the old engines within me and within my church. The old engines of Bible reading, praying, fellowship, and evangelism. O Lord revive us and revive thy work in our churches.